Arundhati Roy on Literary Shelter, Chelsea Manning’s Memoir, and More

by Staff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

“Novels can bring their authors to the brink of madness. Novels can shelter their authors, too.” In her PEN America Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture, Arundhati Roy asks what it means to be a writer during a “blitzkrieg of idiocy, Facebook ‘likes,’ fascist marches, fake-news coups, and what looks like a race toward extinction.” (Guardian)

The latest edition of Buzz Books publishes today, offering free excerpts from forty-five upcoming titles by authors such as Tracy Chevalier, Jojo Moyes, and Jeanette Winterson. (Publishers Lunch)

Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning has signed a book deal with Farrar, Straus and Giroux to publish her memoir in 2020. (New York Times)

“Not every sentence has to have an amazing word, but you have to say what you want to say, to the best of your ability.” Binnie Kirshenbaum talks to Guernica about her latest novel, Rabbits for Food, and finding accurate language for everything from the anger of depression to Canarsie slang.

Poet, educator, and musician Jamila Woods shares the literary influences she set to song in her new album, LEGACY! LEGACY!, including James Baldwin and Sonia Sanchez. (New Yorker)

At last night’s British Book Awards, Irish writer Sally Rooney won Book of the Year for her second novel, Normal People. The awards, known as the Nibbies, recognize “well-written and brilliantly published books.” (Irish Times)

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation has announced that literacy advocate Kesha Lee has started as its new executive director. Lee will expand the foundation’s mission to discover, mentor, and honor Black writers.

And Xuan Juliana Wang talks to Poets & Writers about her debut story collection, Home Remedies, and the loneliness of writing in an ex-FBI warehouse trying to make imaginary people behave themselves. Home Remedies is out today from Hogarth.